Rebuilding and connecting central Ohio through infrastructure

The recent apartment collapse in Florida is the latest sign of crumbling buildings and infrastructure throughout the U.S. Without proper funding and attention, many bridges and roads may face a similar fate.

Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council Executive Secretary-Treasurer Dorsey Hager is optimistic a federal infrastructure bill will pass soon. He joined the AWF Union Podcast to discuss the building collapse, infrastructure and more.

Florida apartment collapse

So far, the tragedy in Florida has left 20 dead and 128 still missing. After the building suddenly collapsed, many people questioned how it could happen.

Hager said there was a report about recessions in the building’s foundation, but these issues were not addressed. After meeting with engineers and discussing the potential costs, the condo owners passed on the needed repairs.

While the building is not public infrastructure, any structural problems still should have been fixed. Hager said infrastructure is in a similar state and cannot be ignored.

Infrastructure plan

Hager is thankful there is a proposed infrastructure plan with bipartisan support. The likelihood of its passing is unknown, but it is progress.

Ohio is a state with large swaths of rural land. The COVID-19 pandemic showed the need for broadband improvements to be a focus of any infrastructure plan. Hager said some rural Ohioans were forced to drive to McDonalds restaurants or other public places with free wireless internet in order to work or do school work.

He also said childcare and healthcare funding need to be included in an infrastructure bill. Both costs have become too large and are making it difficult for people to choose between supervising their children and going back to work.

Finally, Hager expressed excitement about the expansion of AmTrak. The improvement plan includes connecting three major cities in Ohio: Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati.


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